Fast food has been linked to a number of health problems; yet, many of us continue to ignore warnings by health care professionals who do not seem to get tired of telling us to cut back on hamburgers, French fries, and soda. However, a study published in the British Medical Journal’s respiratory journal Thorax found new evidence that suggests our lives would be a lot better without fast food.
According to the study conducted by the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), those who eat fast food three or more times a week were about 30 percent more likely to have asthma, eczema, and hay fever. The finding was based on written questionnaires completed by more than 300,000 13-and14-year-olds from 51 countries and by the parents of over 180,000 6-and-7-year-olds in 31 countries, CNN reports.
“We found clear associations between certain foods and severe asthma, hay fever (or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis) and eczema in the largest study of allergies in children (aged 6-7 years) and adolescents (13-14 years) to date,” said study author Hywel Williams of the Centre for Evidence Based Dermatology, Queen’s Medical Centre, University Hospital, Nottingham, UK.
In addition to the association between fast food consumption and increased risk for asthma, eczema and hay fever, the researchers also found a protective effect against severe asthma for those who ate fruit at least three times a week.
While the researchers say people don’t have to entirely give up eating fast food, consuming “a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and maybe less fast food” is highly recommended to stay at an optimum health.